World Futures Review September Special Issue: How to Teach Foresight?

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wfra_10_3_coverWorld Futures Review features a special issue for September entitled, Foresight Education! How should business schools incorporate foresight education and other topics are addressed.  Several abstracts are featured below. Please note that the full articles will be free to read for a limited time.

 


 

“Why All Business Schools Should Teach Foresight: Perspectives from More Than a Decade at the University of Notre Dame”

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This article advocates that business schools include a formalized foresight educational experience more widely in their curriculums. As a group charged with educating business leaders of tomorrow, the cultivation of the skill-set and mind-set necessary for anticipating change and positioning organizations for future success and survival should no longer be left to chance. For the past decade, the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame has required all undergraduate students to take a course titled Foresight in Business and Society. During this time, the Mendoza foresight faculty team has gained perspective on the design and value of a futures research learning experience for our students. Five underlying design principles are presented that have shaped the delivery and execution of the course these revolve around: developing great leaders, confronting ambiguous questions, experiential understanding, rigorous exploration, and anticipation as a force for good. As with any design-based perspective, the article concludes with challenges and pitfalls in recognition that the process is not always linear or smooth. But to other educators on this journey, the challenges are manageable and the promise and prospects for students makes it worthwhile.


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Most fields of study have introductory textbooks with the word “principles” in the title: “Principles of Economics,” “Principles of Ecology,” and many others. The principles explained in these textbooks are the core unifying and ordering concepts for their respective fields. They provide a frame of reference for students who are new to the field and taking the first steps toward mastering it. The abundance of “principles” textbooks and long history of the use of core principles in education suggest that a clear set of unifying principles may be a useful way to teach students how to productively think about and understand complex topics. This article identifies and describes a set of core principles for thinking about the future based on a review of more than 50 years of published futures research literature. The ten principles are as follows: The future is (1) plural; (2) possible, plausible, probable, and preferable; (3) open; (4) fuzzy; (5) surprising; (6) not surprising; (7) fast; (8) slow; (9) archetypal; and (10) inbound and outbound. The principles are described and their potential educational use is discussed. Core futures principles may be useful for introducing students of all ages to thinking about and preparing for the future.


“School-Wide Foresight Education: All Together Now!”

Textbooks Desks Tables Classroom GuiyangSchools are better when futures studies are included in the curriculum. This is not common today but can become common with creative and persistent effort. A plan is offered for systematic and sustained promotion in the nation’s K–12 school system. Examples are provided of projects for age appropriate employ throughout K–12 schooling.


World Futures Review (WFR) seeks to encourage and facilitate communication researchers and practitioners in all related fields. WFR relies on its readers to provide the necessary balance through their responses to controversial or one-sided material.

To submit your work to this journal, check out these guidelines!


Future photo attributed to Free Photos

Notre Dame logo attributed to Free Photos.

Idea photo attributed to Free Photos.

Classroom photo attributed to Free Photos.

 

 

 

 

How Has HR Become More Strategic and Integral to Businesses?

12669067945_e017b825c8_zIn today’s competitive and complex business environment, the role of human resources (HR) is constantly changing. With its increasing alignment to core business and integration to the bottom line, HR is a reflection of the constant changing nature of its functions. Being responsive to globalization, demographic and technological changes, as well as the turbulent, competitive and complex environment of business, HR itself has been changing dramatically. From the conventional role of “administrative expert,” HR has evolved to become more tactical and integral to business strategies.

A recent major change in the function of HR the strengthening partnership with line managers. By providing line managers better understanding of their responsibility in specific HR issues, such as absence control, team development, discipline, induction, health and safety, recruitment policy and performance management, HR aims to enhance Current Issue Coveremployee engagement and open communication between line managers and employees. These in turn lead to low turnover and high morale—keys to organizational performance and competitive success. In this regard, by replacing the traditional supervisory role of line managers and empowering them to act as leader, enabler and facilitator, HR is playing the strategic role of an “objective adviser”.

This change has made HR more strategic and more business integrated. This reorientation helps HR to not only play a critical role in the overall strategic planning of the business, but also to act as a messenger to clarify and direct employees about the desired goal of the organization. A recent article from the journal Vision entitled “Strategic Value Contribution Role of HR,” from authors Humaira Naznin and Md. Ashfaq Hussain,  delves into the evolution of HR.

 The abstract for the article:

This article aims to challenge the perceived lack of a strategic value of human resource (HR) function and seeks to focus on the devolution of HR from its transactional role to strategic effectiveness. Utilizing a range of secondary resources, this article aims to critically analyze the shift of HR from transactional to a strategic role and its value contribution role in business. HR needs to overcome conventional resistance and act as the driver of an organizational strategy through aligning the HR strategy to the business strategy, adopting workforce planning and measuring an organization’s competencies. The paper contributes to the evaluation of HR management from viewpoint perspective and offers help to HR practitioners in understanding the changing role of HR.

Click here to read Strategic Value Contribution Role of HR from the journal Vision free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Make sure to sign up for e-alerts and be notified of all  of the latest research published the journal Vision!

*Image attributed to woodleywonderworks (CC)

How Can Organization Theory Help Explain the Emergence of ISIL?

28852073782_27d6f4e78c_zThe emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in recent years has been a cause for concern across the globe, particularly as the terrorist group becomes not only more organized, but also more prominent. Analyzing the rise of ISIL, many researchers are unsure of what the future holds for ISIL, and how much longer the group can remain cohesive, especially in the face of opposition by many different groups. In a recent article published in Journal of Management Inquiry, authors Tuomas Kuronen and Aki-Mauri Huhtinen approach the issue of ISIL’s development in terms of the theoretical perspective of “rhizome.” Their paper, “Organizing Conflict: The Rhizome of Jihad,” delves into the rise of ISIL, the question of how long ISIL can endure, and how the organization of ISIL compares with Western military organizations. The abstract for the article:

In this essay, we study the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Current Issue Coverfrom the theoretical perspective of the “rhizome” coined by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. We understand organizing in general and conflict emergence in particular through the becoming of the rhizomatic ontology of organizing. In our view, the emergence of organizing is a manifestation of a rhizomatic basis of things, seen in nomadic strategies of pursuing revolutionary aims and resisting power hegemonies. We discuss how armed resistance groups relate to time and duration, and their stark contrast to Western professional, expeditionary armies operating in a clearly defined space and time. We complement the established philosophical and organizing-theoretical approaches to being and becoming in understanding conflict emergence with the rhizomatic perspective. We conclude our essay by discussing both theoretical and practical implications for understanding and managing conflict.

You can read “Organizing Conflict: The Rhizome of Jihad” from Journal of Management Inquiry free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to keep current on all of the latest research from Journal of Management InquiryClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Soldier image attributed to Kurdishstruggle (CC)

An Interview with Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Centrica and MasterCard

22847037023_7625149c7e_z[We’re pleased to welcome Richard Bolden of the University of the West of England. Richard recently published an article in Journal of Management Inquiry entitled “Digital Disruption and the Future of Leadership: An Interview with Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Centrica and MasterCard” with co-author Nicholas O’Regan of the University of the West of England.]

  • Can you provide a brief reflection on your paper?

This interview is informed by an address given by Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Centrica and MasterCard, at the University of the West of England in October 2015 in which he reflected on the implications of digital technology and innovation on leadership and management practice. As a high profile senior leader it is interesting to see how his comments reflect a number of trends within leadership and Current Issue Covermanagement theory but also go further, addressing a number of issues that are rarely considered in traditional academic research. In particular, he highlights the importance of context, relationships, ethics, trust and strong but inclusive leadership. We feel that this article offers a useful resource for leadership and management education through the ability to provide the perspective of an experienced, reflective practitioner that could facilitate class discussion, and may also provide useful insights for leadership and management researchers into important areas for future study.

The abstract for the paper:

Unprecedented changes in the nature and prevalence of digital technology have significant implications for leadership theory, practice, and development that, as yet, remain largely unexplored in mainstream academic literature. This article features an interview with Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of global businesses including Centrica and MasterCard, where he reflects on the ways in which digital disruption is impacting upon the nature of leadership and strategic practice. It is accompanied by a commentary that highlights the importance of factors such as context, trust, ethics, and purpose in a fast moving corporate world.

You can read “Digital Disruption and the Future of Leadership: An Interview with Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Centrica and MasterCard” from Journal of Management Inquiry free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on the latest research from Journal of Management InquiryClick here to sign up for e-alerts!


BoldenRichard Bolden is professor of leadership and management and director of Bristol Leadership Centre at the University of the West of England. His research interests include distributed leadership; systems leadership, complexity, and change; leadership in higher education; worldly leadership; and leadership development evaluation. He is associate editor of the journal Leadership, fellow of the Lancaster Leadership Centre, and research advisor to the Singapore Civil Service College. His publications include Exploring Leadership: Individual, Organizational and Societal Perspectives (OUP, 2011) and Leadership Paradoxes: Rethinking Leadership for an Uncertain World (Routledge, 2016).

Nicholas O’Regan is associate dean (research and innovation) and professor of strategy/enterprise and innovation at the University of the West of England, Bristol. His research interests lie in strategic issues, technology deployment, and operational effectiveness. He is co-editor of the Journal of Strategy and Management and has published in numerous international journals and is on the editorial board for journals such as Technovation. He was elected a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2011.

Corporate Social Performance

BAS_v50_72ppiRGB_powerpointJeremy C. Short, Aaron F. McKenny, David J. Ketchen, Charles C. Snow, and G. Tomas M. Hult recently collaborated on their article “An Empirical Examination of Firm, Industry, and Temporal Effects on Corporate Social Performance.” The article was recently published in the OnlineFirst section of Business and Society.

The abstract:

Research examining firm and industry effects on performance has primarily focused on the financial aspects of firm performance. Corporate social performance (CSP) is a major aspect of firm performance that has been under-examined empirically in the literature to date. Adding to the fundamental debate regarding firm versus industry effects on performance, this study uses data drawn from the Kinder, Lydenberg and Domini Co. (KLD) database to examine the degree to which CSP is related to firm, industry, and temporal factors. The results of these analyses suggest that CSP tends to change in a linear manner over time; however, the slope of this line varies across firms and industries. These findings are supported by several robustness checks accounting for autocorrelation, alternative measures of industry, different samples commonly used when using KLD data to measure CSP, and alternative measures of CSP when using the KLD database. The authors also directly compare firm, industry, and temporal effects between CSP and financial performance.

You can read “An Empirical Examination of Firm, Industry, and Temporal Effects on Corporate Social Performance” from Business and Society for free for the next week by clicking here. You can also listen to an interview with Chuck Snow for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Business and Society? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Read Organization and Environment’s Special Issue for Free!

challenges-1221258-mCan institutional theorists constitute a society to better the relationship between organizations and the natural environment? What is the current state of the research on carbon disclosure? How have researchers addressed the tensions inherent in corporate sustainability? These topics and more are explored in Organization and Environment‘s Special Issue entitled “Review of the Literature on Organizations and Natural Environment: From the Past to the Future.”

Stephanie Bertels and Frances Bowen collaborated on the introduction to the Special Issue:

In summer 2015, the Organizations and the Natural Environment Division of the Academy of Management will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its first formal oae coverconference program back in 1995. Over the past two decades, a vibrant and engaged scholarly community has generated thousands of empirical and conceptual studies on the complex relationships between organizations and their natural and social environments. Each individual study focuses on specific research questions crafted to meet the rigorous requirements of academic journals. However, too often our journal publishing and professional norms push us to focus on small, incremental contributions to knowledge. Anniversaries can remind us to pause, take stock, and build on the past to shape a new future. The Organization & Environment (O&E) editorial board decided to provide a venue for this anniversary celebration: a special issue where as a community of scholars we can reflect on where we have been, what we have learned, and what remains to be understood to both further our field and help society address pressing environmental challenges.

In this first review issue of O&E, we hoped to draw insight and inspiration from in-depth reviews of specific topics. Our call for articles invited authors to reflect on the state of theory, empirical research, and practice in relation to key questions at the interface of organizations and the natural environment. We sought out comprehensive and analytical reviews of recent research that synthesized, integrated, and extended our thinking. We encouraged authors to anchor their thoughts in detailed retrospection on past and current research, and to identify the key theoretical, empirical, methodological, or practical challenges of future O&E research. There was an enthusiastic response from the community of scholars and in the end, we have assembled a group of six articles. Each offers a stand-alone review of a particular phenomenon within the O&E domain. Together they showcase the wide range of scholarship addressing topics ranging from the macro to the micro foundations of our field.

You can read Organization and Environment‘s Special Issue for free for the next 30 days! Click here to access the Table of Contents. Want to know when all the latest research like this becomes available from Organization and Environment? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Using Creativity and Beauty to Find Solutions

boat-in-lake-1368014-mThe news isn’t always uplifting: declining home price growth, sinking big business profits, and rising gas prices can make for an economy that is less than reassuring. How can we even start to fix it? According to Nancy Adler there is hope if we allow our passions to lead us to creative solutions and we strive towards a sense of beauty in our leadership.

You can watch the video of Nancy Adler speaking on this topic by clicking here. Nancy Adler also published a paper on this topic entitled “Leading Beautifully: The Creative Economy and Beyond” in Journal of Management Inquiry.

The abstract:

“These times are riven with anxiety and uncertainty” asserts John O’Donohue.1 “In the hearts of people some natural ease has been broken. . . . Our trust in the future JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointhas lost its innocence. We know now that anything can happen. . . . The traditional structures of shelter are shaking, their foundations revealed to be no longer stone but sand. We are suddenly thrown back on ourselves. At first, it sounds completely naïve to suggest that now might be the time to invoke beauty. Yet this is exactly what . . . [we claim]. Why? Because there is nowhere else to turn and we are desperate; furthermore, it is because we have so disastrously neglected the Beautiful that we now find ourselves in such a terrible crisis.”2

Twenty-first century society yearns for a leadership of possibility, a leadership based more on hope, aspiration, innovation, and beauty than on the replication of historical patterns of constrained pragmatism. Luckily, such a leadership is possible today. For the first time in history, leaders can work backward from their aspirations and imagination rather than forward from the past.3 “The gap between what people can imagine and what they can accomplish has never been smaller.”4

Responding to the challenges and yearnings of the twenty-first century demands anticipatory creativity. Designing options worthy of implementation calls for levels of inspiration, creativity, and a passionate commitment to beauty that, until recently, have been more the province of artists and artistic processes than the domain of most managers. The time is right for the artistic imagination of each of us to co-create the leadership that the world most needs and deserves.

The article “Leading Beautifully: The Creative Economy and Beyond” from Journal of Management Inquiry can be read for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest news and research like this from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!